Jarrett Lipman, Johnson’s band director, is excited to be traveling to Grand Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana once again after five years. The band has been rehearsing the show since Aug. 1 in order to prepare for competition season.
“This is the first time since 2011 we’ve gone to nationals, so none of the current members were in the band,” Lipman said. “It is exciting because they are fresh and eager to attend.”
With the first competition coming up at the end of September, the band has been rehearsing almost everyday after school to prepare on top of already having had “9 to 9” practices during the majority of August.
The show has more participants than they’ve ever had in past years, but Lipman is eager about his show growing.
“I’m excited about the fact that we are the largest we have ever been with 160 woodwinds and brass, 30 percussion, 30 colorguard, and 14 dance team members,” Lipman said.
Kourtney Kickhoefer, who’s a current colorguard member, remains positive although there may be a larger number of people on the field than ever.
“I think it’s pretty easy,” Kickhoefer said. “We just kinda work well together.”
The show this year is called Flashdance, so Lipman felt it was appropriate to add dancers into the show.
“The dance team really helps convey the concept at a high level. They’re kind of the like “Rockettes” from Radio City Music Hall,” Lipman said.
Colorguard member Maya Lawrence is excited about this new addition and putting more of Johnson’s talents out there.
“I think it’s gonna be an exciting opportunity to be able to showcase more of what Johnson has to offer,” Lawrence said.
Stephanie Trevino is excited about the opportunity to showcase her dancers in something different than what they’re normally used to.
“I’m more excited about it just because it’s brand new and also thankfully it’s a small group,” Trevino said.
The dancers have been working hard to accommodate to the way the band operates. Trevino says it’s a completely different environment.
“Band in a way speaks a different language than dance. I mean yes the whole perception and the whole view is the same like we want the end product to be amazing,” Trevino said. “but band is just a different world than dance, so I think that’s the only obstacle.”
Grace Phillips is among the 14 dancers in the show, and she feels nervous going into it, but thinks it’s an amazing experience.
“It’s cool to be like really a part of the show,” Phillips said. “We get to create the atmosphere for the beginning of the show. It’s kind of scary going into it since it’s the first year.”
Emily Tinseth feels as if being a part of this elite team will help her become closer with her teammates and grow in her dancing as well.
“I’m most excited to bond with this group and grow in my dancing,” Tinseth said. “I decided to tryout because I thought it would be a good learning experience.”
The dance teams already perform as a whole with the band, but Trevino believes that this is a good opportunity to bond more especially since there’s not as many dancers for the show.
“I think I’m most excited about seeing the camaraderie between band and dance grow even more,” Trevino said. “I’m more excited about it just because it’s brand new and also thankfully it’s a small group.”
Current band members have never been to Grand Nationals, but Lipman is confident that they will succeed.
“The only obstacle is the unknown,” Lipman said. “They’ll be learning as they go. I am not worried.”